Category Archives: Blog

[Blog] 30th of August – Final days in Japan

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Final days in Japan

There are still 2 days in Japan I haven’t told you about! The festival was the 10-12 of august, last blog post was about the 10th.

On the 11th we started with sightseeing in Kochi castle. Very beautiful! After lunch we split up in pairs to experience the yosakoi festival together with a team from Kochi. Me and Oushou had the pleasure to join the team Central, which is very cool! Central is a team that has existed for a long time and are very good. Waiting for their performance with them was like seeing the festival backstage, sitting in a street next to the parade street that was full with waiting yosakoi teams. When they performed we got to ride in the truck playing music, called Jikatasha in Japanese. They had real instruments on the truck that played the music live! Standing up there watching them perform was so amazing! We really got to feel the atmosphere.

From Central’s truck

After the performance we continued watching other teams performing. Yosakoi is fun because it can be so many different things, all the dances we saw were so different. We also got to try being “competition venue staff”, meaning giving medals to good dancers. Nervous but fun! They were all so good, it was hard to choose who to give the medals too.

After dinner it was time for the biggest, coolest, most important performance: On Otetsuji in the evening. We lined up along the street before the parade street, other teams in front and behind us. The sky was dark, but the spotlights on the parade street was so bright. If you peeked between waiting trucks you could see silhouettes of dancers against the bright lights and hear their music. All waiting dancers were filled with anticipation, so strong you could feel it in the air. Finally it was our turn. It went really well, and was so much fun! This time we could hear our music, luckily. I enjoyed it fully, and I think everyone else did too.

This was sadly our last performance with Yosakoi Kokusai Koruy Tai. We had a dispersal ceremony after were the leaders thanked us for joining and we them.

Oushou and WHOlock with some of the other ambassadors

The 12th was the last full day in Japan. We started with visiting a Buddhist temple at Godaisan mountain and got to try meditating. The temple was very beautiful, tatami rooms with sliding doors opened up to a traditional garden.

One of the reasons we came to Kochi was to be formally appointed ambassadors at a ceremony. This was held midday at the Kochi castle stage. Very formal, all of us lined up on the staged, got a diploma by the governor and bowed. Each team also got a really big flag which had to be sent home by mail as it couldn’t fit in the luggage.

We spent the entire afternoon watching performances. The last day it is only the best teams performing and everyone was so good! Really inspiring. Before dinner we got some time to relax in an onsen, because dinner was an important, formal, affair with lots of important people. We both talked to a lot of different people, dancers, festival organisers from Tokyo , business men from Kochi, and many others. Mostly Oushou since I don’t speak japanese but I did my best. The organisers had made a video with material from the first two days which was very fun to see. The evening ended with everyone dancing a traditional dance together which was very fun.

Some of the ambassadors had a goodbye party at the hotel were we made plans for future work and cooperation. After intense packing and some sleep me and Oshou left the hotel before 6 am following morning.

So that was our Japan trip! Really great, meeting new people, seeing amazing performances, dancing in Kochi again and lots of tasty food! I look forward to returning next year with our international team!

Thank you everyone in Kochi for making this experience possible!

WHOlock, Ho-san from Central and Oushou

 

– WHOロック?

WHOlock

[Blog] 8th of August

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Day one Japan trip

Oshou and Wholock is in Japan! But why?

It started in april when zyka was contacted by Kouchi’s prefecture. They have started a new project to spread yosakoi over the world and contacted the teams in Europe and one in Canada to ask if we wanted to be yosakoi ambassadors and help with their mission. Such an honour! Two or three members from each team was chosen as representatives of the team. From zyka Oshou and me, wholock, were chosen. Zyka have since its start worked to spread yosakoi and knowledge of yosakoi in Sweden and will continue with that, now with cooperation from Kouchi’s prefecture.

Part of the individual ambassadorship will be to participate in Kouchi’s yosakoi festival, dance with an international team, watch performances and accept our official documents. Its all very official! So now we are here. The festival will start tomorrow night, with a great firework show!

Its great to be back in Kouchi again. Feels a bit nostalgic from the last time we were here with all of Zyka. This time there is no thypoon so the weather is warm and sunny. I went to the beach earlier today, very beautiful and giant waves. Unfortunately swimming was forbidden.

Tomorrow the other participants will arrive and we will all live at the same hotell and do a lot of activities together so that will be fun. Tonight we are meeting Katsuda, who lives i  Kouchi and danced with zyka when we were here 2014. Hisashiburi!

– WHOロック?
WHOlock

[Blog] Last stop of Danskarusellen, and a well deserved award!

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Yesterday, 3rd of April, Zyka Yosakoi performed at the third and final stop of Danskarusellen 2016.

The event took place at Skarpnäck Kulturhus in (you guessed it) Skarpnäck. It featured the great dancegroups from the two previous tour stops, and all their amazing, creative performances. Well, except one group that couldn’t make it and one of the original choreographies that mysteriously went missing this time.

Which choreography, you ask? Well… it was ours…

“Wait, what? No Bankuramou? But why!?”

Calm down. Let me explain. We wanted to perform Bankuramou, but found ourselves in an increasingly tricky situation when a growing part of our Banku dancing team was unable to make it to the stage. Howl studied for exams, our leader Oushou went on a trip to Italy, Wholock had guard duties and sickness struck Peanuts when we needed her the most.

We ended up with only half of Zyka, including our trusty -to new to dance- member Ewok. Helping us as staff and morale support.

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We were full of dance energy!

Since most of us normally dance in the same middle column, trying to perform Bankuramou would feature us in a never before seen (and best left unseen) L-formation.

But just look at us. We were full of dance energy! In spite of our predicament we mustered our courage, and with the strength of ten thousand dreams still in our hearts, we prepared for our plan B: Changing choreography (overnight!to the always uplifting sou-odori, Za Festival!

And the show was a blast! As we danced, we spread our joy and energy to the crowd. Some couldn’t help themselves, they started waving their arms in dancelike patterns and shout our kakegoe with us. And that’s what Yosakoi is all about.

We didn’t win the competition though. We won’t be representing Stockholm in the finals at Karlstad. That honor was given to the talented k-pop group UNIQUE, and the awesome BLACKOUT EMPIRE. We congratulate them on their victory and wish them luck in the finals!

But Zyka also found a reason to celebrate! One of the special awards went to Zyka’s very own member, Park! “For showing the passion and joy of dancing and boosting her whole teams performance” she won the Best Stage Personality-award!

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Park! “Best Stage Personality”, Danskarusellen 2016

It was an award most well deserved. All of Zyka is very proud!

– ヒッチ

Hicchi

[Blog] 25th of August

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Zyka have now had another training camp! We spent this past weekend at our usual training camp place in the countryside. It was great weather, and very hot. We practised both for our performance at PeppCon this weekend and on Banku. On PeppCon we will close Hatsuyuki, meaning that it is the last time we will ever perform it. So of course we want to do our very best. We practised Hatsuyuki the whole day on Saturday and were very satisfied.

 

On Sunday we practised Banku, for the first time with music! It was very fun and challenging. Banku training is progressing and we have high hopes for the premier in October.

 

But of course we didn’t only train. 🙂 In the evening there were time for swimming in the sea, dancing sou-odori, playing games and just generally having fun hanging out. It has been more than a year since our last training camp so it was very fun to get the chance again. Luckily it will not be so long until our next training camp. It will be in October to prepare for the premier of Bankuramou.

 

After this intensive and fun weekend we are ready for the closing of Hatsuyuki the upcoming weekend.

 

2015-08-23 09.33.11– WHOロック?

WHOlock

[Blog] 11th of August

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The end of summer gets nearer just as the real summer weather arrive. And it’s time for Zyka to start again.

While the summer holiday has been nice and most likely necessary for all of us it is fun to start again. And most exciting of all it is finally, finally….

 

Time to start to learn Bankuramou!

 

After more than half a year of intense work the time is finally here for the members to learn the choreography. It’s been some time since we learnt something new so it’s fun to get a challenge like this. But also it is something that almost all for us have worked with at least one part of for a long time. To see it all coming together is a very special feeling. I can hardly wait until the costumes are done and the last pieces fall into place! Look forward to our premier on the 18th of October everyone!

But summer also means travel time to many and thus not all of our members are back home yet. For the first training of this season Peanuts and Shishou showed up. And they worked hard! Good work both of you!

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Shishou and Peanuts

– 王将

Oushou

 

[Blog] 11th of July

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This past Thursday we had our last practice before our summer-break. We were looking forward to both get some practise done with Hatsuyuki as well as do some Sou-odoris together before parting for the summer. But sadly the weather wasn’t on our side this day and heavy rain started pouring just as we finished our warm-up. WHOlock and Shishou bravely fought the rain for quite a while and danced under the cover of the trees, hoping for the rain to soon let up. But soon not even the trees could keep the rain away and we had to admit defeat.

Packing our stuff together we decided to go to a nearby café instead, but before we even got to the edge of the park we practise in the rain let up completely. Seeing as we already were quite wet we didn’t want to pick up practise again but we did take the chance to do some Sou-odoris before we left, with Iruka? joining in as well as she arrived at this time. Some of the Sou-odoris were a bit shaky from not having been danced in quite a while but all in all it was great fun and I think all three of us enjoyed it.

Satisfied with dancing we then proceeded to celebrate WHOlock and Peanuts birthdays as well as Iruka? being accepted at University before we said good-bye and went our separate ways. Now we have the rest of July to take it easy and rest before we start-up again in August. And then it is the start of our very own Bankuramou that awaits us!

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Shishou and WHOlock on the way to the café

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WHOlock and Shishou waiting for the rain to let up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-王将

Oushou

[Blog] 21th of June

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Hi everyone, it’s been a while.

We have moved outside again and like the past summer we dance in Humlegården in Stockholm. On sunny days there are a lot a people there, and many people training so it can be a bit crowded at times but we are enjoying it nevertheless. Being outside makes it possible to have longer trainings and the fresh air helps us stay focused. At least most of the time. While the rain can be a bother at times we are over all having great fun.

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Park and Iruka?

The last few weeks we have practices what we call rotation, which means we rotated between the different positions. In Hatsuyuki there are eight different positions and even after learning them it can be hard to keep the sometimes rather small differences in mind when suddenly having to change position. It is hard work learning them properly but knowing all positions helps us keeping track of each other while dancing. Synchronization is something we need to get better on and this is good practice.

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Park, Amo and Shishou

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WHOlock and Iruka?

We have also gained a new member in YEN, the French team Yosakoi Paris Hinodemai that was started just last year and are based in Paris. We are happy that they have joined YEN and hope to see them during the next meet-up, which by the way are planned to happen here in Sweden on the 17 – 18th of October. We are planing on putting up a performance together so keep an eye out for that!

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Yosakoi Paris Hinodemai

 

-王将

Oushou